Place and Placelessness: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference

deadline for submissions: 
May 18, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
University of Nottingham

Place and Placelessness

The 12th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference

Hosted by the  Landscape, Space, Place Research Group.

 We are excited to announce the CfP for ‘Place and Placelessness’ to be held at the University of Nottingham on 16 July 2018.

Confirmed Keynote Address: Dr David Cooper (Manchester Metropolitan University)

At a time of growing economic, social, and geographical mobility, traditional connections to place seem increasingly unstable and uprooted. Recent political events perhaps reflect efforts to redefine, and to reclaim, ‘placed’ identities. In 2016, the UK’s Brexit vote marked a desire to strike back against the superstructures of the European Union, showing that what constitutes a ‘sense of place’ is both contingent and negotiable from the inside out. This ‘striking back’ is also seen beyond British borders in Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Election, where reactionary nationalist discourses evidenced a similar inward turn to the UK’s Brexit vote. Place-bound identity markers are thus called into question - local, regional, and national spaces are subject to pressing interrogation from a range of cultural, political and geographical standpoints.

Marc Augé (1996) proposes that in its late-capitalist moment, our contemporary society is made up of ‘non-places’ which are defined as ‘formed in relation to certain ends (transport, transit, commerce, leisure)’ – these include airport departure lounges, motorways and shopping centres. Augé’s note on the sprawl of ‘non-places’ shows the dissolving of local, regional and national markers in favour of globalised capitalist economics – the publication of the second edition of Non-Places in 2008 shows that these concerns continue to be relevant and can be addressed anew. As definitions of physical places have become more tightly defined and fought over, digital space has expanded. The centrality of digital stimuli has altered spatial markers and our position within local, regional and national networks is changing due to the boundary-less flow of global capital and of global data.  GPS means that our spaces are known, trackable and easily navigated, while instant online communication has created a digital ‘third-space’ which is abstract and materially intangible. As such, this conference seeks to explore this complex net of imagined, material, and digital landscapes, examining how the concept of ‘place’ now relates to the increasingly ‘placeless’ society in which we live.



This one-day conference, organised by the Landscape, Space and Place Reading Group, invites papers that engage with these concerns. We welcome submissions from postgraduate researchers working in Literature, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, Classics, History,  Heritage, Geography, Politics and Sociology.

We invite papers of twenty minutes on topics that might include, but are not limited to:

  • Conflicting spatial boundaries

  • Geopolitics

  • Supermodernity and non-place

  • Migration, displacement, and redefinition of place

  • Postcolonialism and placelessness

  • Memory of landscape and place

  • The influence of technology on conceptualizing space and place

  • Digital/Material Cartographies

  • Climate change and Ecocriticism

  • Theoretical approaches to space/place

The conference will also include a New Scholar’s session. This will be a discussion dedicated to new researcher’s professional development, including: research impact, public engagement and publishing.


Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short bio-note of 100 words to:



We similarly welcome panel proposals of no more than 60 minutes in total. Please send an abstract of up to 800 words.


The CfP closes on Friday 18th May 2018. Decisions will be communicated by the end of May. If you have any access requirements, please email us and we will do our best to accommodate you.